This weekend we put the finishing touches on a condo I purchased 18 years ago. It has been rented for the past 12 years and in the rush of preparing to turn it over to the next renter, there hasn’t been much time for remodel, upgrades, etc. Just the basics. Fresh paint, cleaning and some touchups.
This year we took a little time to go beyond the surface. We gave it some new bones, a level foundation in terms of new flooring, cabinets and some appliances. My sweet husband also went into the walls and assessed that the outlet boxes rusted in the wall and some plugs were not as secure or supplying power and updated the electrical. He pulled things out of the walls that were outdated (old intercoms, wall radios and even a wall-vac). He repaired walls, added more lighting and removed old, rusty fixtures. He gave it a severely needed overhaul. (The unit celebrates its 50th next year.)
I looked at the external touchups needed, what I could see with my eye, but he started going beyond that and looked beyond the exterior blemishes to get to the heart of what was needed.
As I went to see the final product this weekend, I was thinking wow, we should have done this a long time ago, but you know we were busy and this took time and a whole lot of energy.
The more I think about this, it reminds me of our lives. We are always rushing off to the next thing that we often just have time for the basics — a quick prayer out the door and maybe a quick verse but over time, we, just like that old condo need a remodel. We need to update, upgrade, gut and remove the rusty parts of us in order to align to the needs of who we are today. A fresh coat of paint (a new outfit, haircut, or for us women a little blush or bronzer to make us look a little more alert and rested) will only make us look like we are doing ok, but like the condo we need a remodel from the inside. What do I mean?
We may need to refresh our power supply. We need to ensure that we are properly connected to God’s power supply. Is it lose? Hanging on by a thread? Do we have a poor connection? Is it overloaded? (I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. John 15:5)
What does our foundation look like? I am reminded of the old hymnal, my hope is built on nothing less than Jesus blood and righteousness. (Everyone who comes to me and hears my words and does them, I will show you what he is like: he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when a flood arose, the stream broke against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built. Luke 6: 47-48)
Are we walking through life with hurt within from the past that we need to go inward and remove or at least work through? Old hurt living within us has no more function than a 1970’s wall-vac in a 2020 condo (that doesn’t even have carpet anymore). (Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing!… Isaiah 43:18-19)
Maybe we need to add a little more light to our lives (in terms of what we do, what we read, and who we interact with)? (Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. Colossians 3:16.)
Remodels take time and they are definitely costly. Not in terms of money as in the condo but they cost us emotionally. There is a cost of digging deep and it absolutely takes time. Likely more time than a 2-3 week condo remodel, but God wants us to continue to do deeper. To look more and more like him. To prune to the old fruit so that we can bear good fruit. To not only look the part but be the part. This year, perhaps we can assess if we are up to God’s code and if not consider updating our connection, gutting out what doesn’t look like Him on the inside, working through the updated issues of old and beautifying our heart. Everything is so much more beautiful after a remodel — even us.